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Default Dragon Age - BioWare Licenses SpeedTree

February 15th, 2007, 15:58
BioWare has announced the use of SpeedTree for Dragon Age (and other unspecified titles). Here's a snip from the announcement courtesy of Gamers Hell:
Within days of downloading the software, we had beautiful, shadowed, deciduous trees running in our upcoming title, Dragon Age, said Trent Oster, Eclipse Engine project director for BioWare. Based on the visual quality and the ease of integration, we signed a multi-game, company-wide licensing deal for SpeedTree.
More information.
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February 15th, 2007, 15:58
Hey Dhruin, the actual link is:

http://www.gamershell.com/news/36290.html

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February 15th, 2007, 17:20
I think that it is interesting … there was an article recently about selling games requiring distinctive look and feel, and also mentioning that a big part of that pushes high-end graphics, but since they cost so much people are farming stuff to third-parties … which ends up making them all look the same again …

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February 15th, 2007, 18:06
Here's something to consider - when faced with graphical instability due to having low or middle end computers, aren't trees one of the first things to be disabled by players when faced with low framerates? From a developer perspective I'm sure it's a great way to reduce time and resources spent on this feature, but does it really mean much to the end user?
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February 15th, 2007, 18:52
Originally Posted by Role-Player View Post
Here's something to consider - when faced with graphical instability due to having low or middle end computers, aren't trees one of the first things to be disabled by players when faced with low framerates? From a developer perspective I'm sure it's a great way to reduce time and resources spent on this feature, but does it really mean much to the end user?
Ideally — nice graphics without sacrificing gameplay. Developers like Larian can focus on the game itself instead of spending their scarce funding on armies of artists to draw a bunch of trees! At least that's my understanding of it. It sounds like a great solution to an industry problem. I hope that as middleware solutions like this become more common, developers can start making more niche-y products again.
Last edited by doctor_kaz; February 15th, 2007 at 18:59.
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February 15th, 2007, 19:02
It does sound like one and ideally, I am in favor of these kinds of development suites or third-party systems like Havok to be licensed so that developers can spend more time in other areas - even though unfortunately they tend to get lost in other technical aspects that favor flash rather than substance. If the rendering process is actually faster then it's a benefit, sure. But I'll have to wait and see if this will work well.
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February 15th, 2007, 19:07
I always worry about middleware becoming bloatware and actually slowing things down and raising the system requirements.

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February 15th, 2007, 23:37
As I understand it Reality Pump uses its own solution, the main reason being that Speedtree is too slow, not very customizable (PB also said so), and bound to produce hard-to-detect bugs (always the case when using middleware). Considering that Bioware does not focus in producing seamless gameworlds (I don't know if this is the case with Dragon Age), maybe that's the ideal solution for them.
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